When drummer Jason Barnes lost his lower right arm to electrocution two years ago, his future as a musician didn't look too promising. But thanks to a new robotic arm invented by Professor Gil Weinberg, founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, he may soon be the envy of the drumming world.
That's because the new mechanical arm effectively gives Barnes the ability to use three different drumsticks while playing his kit. He holds the first in his left hand, as always. The other two are held by the robotic arm attached to Barnes' right bicep. One of those sticks is controlled by the up-and-down motion of Barnes' arm, as well as electrical impulses from his body measured by electromyography muscle sensors.
The other stick however, analyzes the rhythm being played and uses a built-in motor to improvise on its own, adding a dimension to drumming that's heretofore not seen on any stage we know of. … Read more
When looking to examine the heart and blood vessels, the images scientists get from techniques like cross-sectional ultrasounds can provide limited information.
"If you're a doctor, you want to see what is going on inside the arteries and inside the heart, but most of the devices being used for this today provide only cross-sectional images," explained F. Levent Degertekin, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. "If you have an artery that is totally blocked, for example, you need a system that tells you what's in front of you. You need to see the front, back, and sidewalls altogether."
Such a system may now be on the horizon, thanks to Degertekin and a team of researchers at Georgia Tech. They've developed a minuscule sensor that could travel through the bloodstream to send highly detailed 3D images back to an external sensor. … Read more
Brain tumors known as Glioblastoma multiform cancer (GBM) are a particularly insidious form of the disease because they just don't stay still. They travel through the brain by sliding along blood vessels and nerve passageways. This means that sometimes they move to parts of the brain where surgery is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- or that even if the bulk of a tumor can be removed, chances are good its tendrils would still exist throughout the brain.
Scientists at Georgia Tech may have come up with a novel solution for this problem; though, it may be years before the technique can be used on humans. It involves creating artificial pathways along which cancer can travel. These pathways could route cancer to a more easily operable area, or even to a deadly drug located in a gel outside the body. … Read more
If you want your Kickstarter to succeed, it appears there are some definite do's and don'ts when it comes to phrasing. According to a new study by Tanushree Mitra and Eric Gilbert of Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing, the language you use can be pretty indicative of whether or not you'll get your funding.
The pair analyzed more than 45,000 Kickstarter campaigns launched since June 2012, 51.53 percent of which were successful. Controlling for categories (some of which are more successful than others; you're more likely to have a successful campaign in design than fashion, for example); the presence of video; funding goals; social media; and pledge levels, they were able to compile a dictionary of more than 100 phrases that they say can more or less accurately predict success or failure. … Read more
We can't help but feel that Leonardo da Vinci would approve. Using the Mona Lisa as a template, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated a new technique for producing confined chemical reactions on a nanoscale level.
Called the "Mini Lisa," the work is the result of a process called ThermoChemical NanoLithography (TCNL). Using an atomic-force microscope -- a fairly common piece of lab equipment -- the team used a cantilevered arm to apply heat to a chemically coated surface, pixel by 125-nanometer pixel.
The heat applied created a chemical reaction, lightening the surface. The more heat that was applied, the lighter the surface grew. By tightly controlling how much heat was applied to each pixel, the team could control how many new molecules were created. … Read more
AT&T said on Tuesday that it plans to open two "innovation centers" as it looks to make good on its initiative to pursue more avenues of the mobile business beyond smartphones and tablets.
AT&T plans to open what it calls a "foundry" in Atlanta near Georgia Tech and focus on its Digital Life play, or connecting everything from homes to cars with cellular gadgets. The company plans to open a second facility in Plano to focus on machine-to-machine connected devices, such as ATM machines or digital billboards.
The two innovation centers are … Read more
Most people have heard of malicious software as a way to hack into an iPhone, but what about a malicious charger?
Three researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology say they have come up with a proof-of-concept malicious iPhone charger that lets them hack into the mobile device running the latest version of Apple's iOS in less than one minute. No jailbreaking required.
"Apple iOS devices are considered by many to be more secure than other mobile offerings. In evaluating this belief, we investigated the extent to which security threats were considered when performing everyday activities such as … Read more
While it might look like a giant robotic pet, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have actually created the "FlipperBot" to generate new data on how organisms move.
The robot mimics the movements of sea turtle hatchlings struggling to reach the ocean. These little creatures need to rely on dexterity and flexibility in their wrists to get around without moving a lot of the surrounding sand.
"We are looking at different ways that robots can move about on sand," Daniel Goldman, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a statement. "We wanted to make a systematic study of what makes flippers useful or effective. We've learned that the flow of the materials plays a large role in the strategy that can be used by either animals or robots."… Read more
Scientists cite as a major driver of climate change the large amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere that's created by the burning of fossil fuels. They spend day after day trying to figure out a way to generate power for the world's populations, but at the same time leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Now, researchers at the University of Georgia say they've hit upon a way to take the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and turn it into useable industrial products. The impact of such a discovery is potentially huge.
The goal is to remove the CO2 directly from the air and turn it into biofuel -- not only helping power the world, but hopefully taking down global temperatures at the same time.
The researchers essentially have created a microorganism that acts like a plant that removes the carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into something we can use. During photosynthesis, plants utilize sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide from the air to create their food source. This would behave in a similar fashion. … Read more